Mission Statement

In collaboration with our community and parents, the mission of Durham Public Schools is to provide all students with an outstanding education that motivates them to reach their full potential and enables them to discover their interests and talents, pursue their goals and dreams, and succeed in college, in the workforce and as engaged citizen.

Vision Statement

The Durham community cherishes its children, and the Durham Public Schools are the daily expression of that care.

We share a vision of our schools where every child succeeds. This vision includes schools so enticing that students want to attend every day, where they find a safe, orderly and culturally diverse environment for learning that nurtures and strengthens the whole child—body and mind. We provide an environment that teaches students to value all people and treat them with respect. In these schools, our students are fully engaged in a rigorous, enriched curriculum, and they graduate with the thinking skills, creativity, and technological know-how to meet the demands of post-secondary education and employment. Our graduates embrace ongoing learning as a way of life. They are committed to the highest values of active democratic citizenship and they are ready to lead. 

Our vision includes teachers who are caring, highly qualified and who aspire to work at the peak of their profession. We hire and retain the best—and the best teachers want to work in Durham Public Schools because they receive the salaries, support, respect and professional training they need to deliver superior, student-centered classroom instruction. While improving students’ test scores is critical to the work of our teachers, our vision encompasses so much more. Our schools are places where our children are excited to learn, where they find waiting for them at the door of every classroom a teacher who cares for them, instructs them at the highest level and inspires them to reach their full potential.

Our vision includes administrators who are themselves visionary leaders, who lead with high student achievement at the core of every decision they make.  It includes all staff members working hand-in-hand with teachers and administrators to meet the needs of every child.

Parents choose to send their children to Durham Public Schools, and we welcome the participation of our families. Our vision includes open and honest communication with families. We empower our families to be their children’s best first teachers and to share their expertise.  Our vision includes children with loving families who nourish them, who send them to school with a warm smile every morning, who read to them each night.

We recognize that students succeed because families, schools, and community members work together.  We invite the support of our entire community. Our vision for Durham’s children will become real only when each and every one of them has decent housing and excellent health care and a safe neighborhood—when the entire community comes together around the needs of every family and every child.

This is our vision. It is a daily challenge to each of us working in Durham Public Schools, and it is a call to our community to join in this difficult but glorious work.

The Durham Public Schools Board of Education believes that:

  • All children have talents, skills, and unique abilities
  • All children want to pursue their goals and dreams
  • All children can succeed in their pursuits:  college, the workforce, community engagement
  • Schools have a large effect on what and how well children learn and on eliminating achievement gaps
  • School districts can be high-performing, excellent organizations
  • Schools succeed when the entire community comes together around the needs of every child and every family
  • All children benefit from being educated in a socio-economically, ethnically, and racially diverse environment

The Durham Public Schools Board of Education commitments are that:

  • Our children will be challenged to achieve at their highest capacity
  • Our school district will ensure that all of our children have at least one year of growth for one year of schooling
  • Our school district will diminish achievement gaps based on race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status until they are extinguished
  • Our schools will be filled with high quality, competent, and caring teachers, principals, and staff
  • Our schools will be safe, orderly, and clean
  • Our schools will involve family members and caregivers in the education of their children
  • Our school leaders will collaborate with the Durham community
  • Our school district will steadily and significantly increase its high school completion rate
  • Our school district will promote socio-economic, ethnic, and racial diversity at all schools
  • Our school district will have the financial resources to give every child an excellent education, will operate with fiscal efficiency and accountability to the public, and will be a high-performing organization
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